Thursday, September 17, 2009

History Textbook

Inference of pg 126 (map)
I can infer that the people had advancements in transport and direction as they could travel long distances across great plains.
Maritime Trade
Result of interaction:
It resulted in good relationships between other civilisations and this allowed them more exotic materials and goods.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Buddhism originated from India and spread to China and eventually SEA. In the 2nd century BCE, Asoka's emissaries (perhaps including Asoka's son Mahinda) went to Sri Lanka, an island southeast of the Indian subcontinent. They were well-received by the local ruler, King Devanampiva Tissa, and Theravada Buddhism took hold there.

This is when the Mahavihara monastery, a center of Sinhalese orthodoxy, was built. It was at the Sri Lankan royal city of Anuradhapura, in about 90 BCE, that the Tripitaka was put in written form in the Pali language. Although there are other versions of the Tripitaka available, the Pali Canon is the earliest written version.

Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhism continued to flourish over the centuries, producing notable Buddhist commentators such as Buddhaghosa (4th–5th century). Although Mahayana Buddhism gained some influence at that time, Theravada ultimately prevailed, and Sri Lanka turned out to be the last stronghold of Theravada Buddhism, from where it would expand again to southeast Asia from the 11th century.

In the areas east of the Indian subcontinent (today's Burma), Indian culture strongly influenced the Mons. The Mons are said to have been converted to Buddhism around 200 BCE under the proselytizing of the Indian king Ashoka, before the scission between Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism. Early Mon Buddhist temples, such as Peikthano in central Burma, have been dated between the 1st and the 5th century CE.

Originated in India under the rule of hindu kings. Hindu kings spread the religion over SEA but it originated from Ceylon (modern day Sri Lanka).It has spread as a result of Hindu kings conquering non-Hindu lands; it has spread as a result of colonization and then globalization; and in the modern period it has spread as a result of westerners adopting, and converting to, Hindu practices and beliefs. Hindu kings began to make forays into Sri Lanka and parts of southeast Asia as early as the 7th century C.E. Hinduism was a major cultural force in much of Southeast Asia, as evidenced, for example, by Angkor Wat or contemporary Balinese Hinduism. The Srivijaya kingdom, established on the island of Sumatra in what is now Indonesia, was a huge Hindu kingdom. In this context, Hinduism took on a distinctly local character, both in terms of the forms of the gods and goddesses and their associated ritual practices. This kind of political expansion outside of India is the exception rather than the rule.

Discuss the impact of different religions in SEA

1) Islam
The muslim influence is said to be at least 6 centuries old or present by 1400A.D. The origin of Islam in SEA is unknown but i believed to have originated in Aceh or northern Sumatra. Islam today in SEA has spread to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei which are countries today in SEA that use Islam as their main religion.
The Prophet Muhammed
The prophet Muhammed is believed to be the founder of Islam. He was born in the 6th century A.D. He began to start his religious quest in 610 A.D. and was believed to be the messenger of Allah. He was claimed to have thoughts and visions about what Allah had to say about the earth the people then were living in and gave him revelations on how he wanted the people to live their lives. Muhammed died in 632 A.D. and his friends put together his final works of those revelations which is today's Qu'ran, an islamic book where all Muhammed's visions from Allah were put together.

2) Buddhism
Buddhism was originally from India and spread to China and eventually SEA too.
In Indonesia and Malay Penisula:
It is said that late in the fifth century, a Buddhist monk from India landed in a kingdom in central Java and converted its queen to Buddhism. She in turn converted her son and made Mahayana Buddhism the official religion of the kingdom.

At the end of the seventh century, Yi-jing, a Buddhist pilgrim from China, visited Sumatra, which was part of the Srivijaya kingdom. He found that Buddhism was widely accepted by the people and Palembang, the capital of Srivijaya, was an important centre for Buddhist learning. Yi-jing studied there for some time before continuing on his journey to India.

In the middle of the eighth century, central Java was under the rule of the Sailendra kings who were Buddhists. They built various Buddhist monuments in Java, the most famous of which is the Borobudur. This monument was completed in the early part of the ninth century. It consists of a series of six square terraces above which are three circular platforms. Right at the top is a central stupa. The walls of the monument are carved with reliefs depicting scenes from the Buddha's life, the stories of His past lives and Mahayana Buddhist sutras. It is said that the ascent of the Borobudur symbolises man's progress out of Samsara to Nirvana.

In the middle of the ninth century, a Sailendra prince became king of Srivijaya. Under the Sailendra kings, Srivijaya grew in wealth and power. By that time, the kingdom already included Sumatra, Java and the Malay Peninsula. During this period of prosperity, which lasted till the end of the twelfth century, Vajrayana Buddhism gained wide acceptance alongside Hindu practices, throughout the empire.

In Thailand:
Before the thirteenth century, the region now called Thailand was composed of many small independent kingdoms. Buddhist influence had already been felt in this region as a result of contact with neighbouring countries. At the end of the thirteenth century, Theravada Buddhism gained the support of the Thai king, Ramkham-haeng. He invited Buddhist monks to teach in his capital city of Sukothai. He also established relations with Sri Lanka by sending monks there to study. Furthermore, he began the tradition of appointing a Sangha chief to oversee the administration of the monastic community. Under his patronage, all the people in his kingdom were said to have become Buddhists.

About half a century later, there was another devout and learned king called Luthai who was a strong supporter of Buddhism. He joined the Order for a period of time and is said to have initiated the Thai tradition of Buddhists becoming monks for a limited period of time, usually about three months.

In spite of the wars in the centuries following, Buddhism continued to grow in importance and enjoyed uninterrupted state support. The Thai Order is as influential today as it was in the past. However, some reforms have been introduced since the turn of the present century. There is greater emphasis on Buddhist education and the monks are actively involved not only in teaching the religion, but also in providing secular education for the lay people. Many monks still teach in the primary and secondary schools that have been set up in the Buddhist monasteries throughout the country. Many others also pursue higher studies at Buddhist colleges and universities. Over the past few decades, some monks have been sent overseas to spread the teachings of the Buddha.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Missing post - images

You are to gather at least 3 more images taken by historians / archaeologists / artifacts of the Indus Valley civilisation. Name them and explain its possible usage by the people in the civilisation.

For religious bathing

For defending its citizens

Sewage system

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What happened c.1150 BCE

Discuss and write down why, how and what had happened to have caused an end to the Shang Dynasty. Present your findings on your blog. Support your conclusion with evidence (primary or/and secondary)

The Ch'in dynasty was the one that caused the end of the Shang Dynasty. China was a country consisting of many different dynasties. The Shang and the Chou were the largest and most powerful in terms of political landscape. When the Chou began to weaken at around 500 BC, the neighbouring states started to go into war with each other over territory and influence. This was referred to as The Warring States Period in ancient chinese history and it did not stop till one empire ruled the entire land, The Ch'in. The Shangs, eventually fell weak to the Ch'ins, known for their ruthlessness and evil doings.


From the imges given, such as the ritual vessels and inscribed ox scapula we know that there is an existant of priests. Conduct a research to learn more about the religion that the Shang Civilisation practiced. Blog your answers suppported by pictorial or written sources as your evidence.

Underneath the aristocrastic society of the Shang Civilisation, there was a class called the priest class, of which priest kept the records of the government and were fully in charge of the religion. The religion in the time of the Shang Civilisation was ancestor and idol based. Although having many gods, the Shang people only gave offerings to their main god, Shang Ti, the Lord on High. Sacrifice to the gods were also necessary at certain points of time. When a king died, hundreds and maybe thousands of slaves, workers and peasants were sacrificed and buried together with him. People were also sacrificed when important events such as, the founding of a temple or palace, but the sacrificed usually came in small numbers

The Shang Dynasty

Friday, July 17, 2009


Has there been evidence of artefacts found which would indicate that the people of the Indus Valley civillisation had a system of communication? Support your answer with images or data collected and compiled by historians.

Yes, there is, in fact, evidence of aftefacts found that would suggest communication. An as yet undeciphered script found on relics from the Indus valley constitutes a genuine written language, a new mathematical analysis suggests.

The finding is the latest chapter in a bitter dispute over the interpretation of "Indus script". This is the name given to a collection of symbols found on artefacts from the Indus valley civilisation, which flourished in what is now eastern Pakistan and western India between 2500 and 1900 BC.

In 2002, a team of linguists and historians argued that the script did not represent language at all, but religious or political imagery.

These artefacts have yet to be translated.